As summer comes to an end, delicious summer fruits and veggies will become scarce. But that doesn’t mean your autumnal meals will be without flavor.
This time of year – after months of sunshine and warmth but before the ground turns frigid and unfriendly for many crops – is a fantastic time to highlight those fall flavors you forgot about while you were enjoying your summertime produce. Colorado culinary arts students are excited to mix some colorful autumn foods into their meals.
Here are some fun ways to incorporate autumnal fruits and vegetables into your dishes this season:
Tofu with sweet potato and kale
Sweet potato, known for its bright orange flesh and rich flavor, is a fall favorite that’s not to be reserved just for Thanksgiving dinner. Dr. Oz The Good Life explains how to pair it with tofu and kale – another vegetable that flourishes in the colder months – for a wonderfully colorful and healthy meal.
Begin by tossing cubed sweet potato and tofu with oil, smoked paprika and salt. Heat some oil in a nonstick pan to cook the tofu and sweet potato together. When the sweet potato is cooked thoroughly, remove the mixture and set aside. Cooking should take about four minutes.
Next, add your kale to the now-empty pan. Sprinkle on some salt and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. When the kale is just wilted, toss with some apple cider vinegar and smoked paprika.
In a bowl, layer the kale, sweet potato mixture and top with pepitas.
Fall fruit juices
Ever since Starbucks initially released the pumpkin spice latte to the masses in 2003, it seems that everyone has been jumping on the bandwagon. If you’re looking for a healthy way to get your pumpkin spice fix this fall, look no further than this harvest-inspired pumpkin apple pie juice from Organic Authority.
First, blend pumpkin flesh and apple, cored and peeled. For some sweetness, add honey or a pitted date. Next, mix in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. If the juice thicker than you like (which is more likely to happen if you opt for date over honey), thin it out with water.
Beets are surprisingly versatile root vegetables. Combine them with carrots and apples, fresh ginger and lemon to make a nutrient-packed and brightly colored juice.
Clementine-fig spice cake
With all the delicious fruits and vegetables coming into season, eating healthy isn’t a challenge. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on sweets during the fall. Those rich flavors make for some very decadent desserts.
Try out this clementine-fig spice cake from Better Homes & Gardens while the figs are still seasonal:
Begin by thinly slicing your clementines. Don’t peel them – the candied rinds add a unique sweetness to the cake.
Next, make a rich simple syrup in a medium sauce pan. When just boiling, add the clementine thins. Simmer for a half hour before removing the clementines and letting them cool on a plate. Keep the syrup. When cool, arrange the candied slices in the bottom of six 10-ounce custard cups.
Now you’ll begin working with the dates. Microwave them for three minutes with a half-cup of water to keep them from drying out. Keep the water.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice and cardamom. Whisk in melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the fig mixture (including excess water).
Pour the batter into the cups over the candied clementines. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. They’re done when the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Let them cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes, and then spoon the reserved syrup over the cakes.